FILIPINO bowlers go up against some of Asia’s best in the 2nd Philippine International Bowling Open at the Coronado Lanes in Starmall starting this weekend.
Reigning World Cup champion Krizziah Lyn Tabora banners the Philippine side whose mettle will be tested by entries from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Australia, among others, during the tournament slated from April 28 to May 13.
Kenneth Chua and Lara Posadas are the defending champions in the men and women’s open singles masters. A Corporate Cup featuring 36 teams serves as the curtain-raiser.
“So imbes na kami ang lalabas, sila ang pupunta rito,” said bowling great Bong Coo, now secretary-general of the Philippine Bowling Federation (PBF) when she appeared in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Tapa King Restaurant in Farmers Plaza, Cubao along with PBF president Steve Robles, and the 27-year-old Tabora.
“At the same time, this is part of the national team’s training for the coming Asian Games in Jakarta,” added Robles in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. (PAGCOR).
“Ang mga darating na countries halos sila rin ang kalaban natin sa Asian Games,” added Coo.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez, and Senator Tito Sotto, also current PBF chairman, Asiad chef de mission Richard Gomez, and 2019 Southeast Asian Games CDM Monsour del Rosario are expected to grace the opener of the meet that offers a total of P3 million in prizes courtesy of major backers PAGCOR, Café Puro, Boysen, and Smart.
The Philippine team to the Asiad will be formally presented to the public during the event, according to Robles.
The country is aiming to win at least two gold medals in Palembang this year after going home empty handed at the end of the 2014 Asiad in Incheon, South Korea. The Philippines last won an Asiad gold in the 2010 edition in Guangzhou, China courtesy of Biboy Rivera in the men’s singles event, where Frederick Ong also copped the bronze medal.
“We’re preparing for it (Asiad) and getting our hopes high talaga in targeting of winning a gold,” said Tabora, who also saw action in Incheon four years ago.
The Miriam College alum admitted there is pressure on her part to deliver especially after her World Cup conquest in Mexico last year.
“But ginagawa ko na lang positive ang lahat. Yung pressure andiyan talaga yan, so you have to really deal with it, more of a mental game,” said Tabora. “So binubuhos ko na lang lahat sa preparation kaysa isipin mo pa yung pressure.”
After the Philippine International Open, the national team will also see action in tournaments in Bacolod and Hong Kong in the run-up to the Asiad.